US data bright­ens eco­nomic out­look

The Pak Banker - - INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS/SPORTS -

The num­ber of Amer­i­cans fil­ing new claims for un­em­ploy­ment ben­e­fits dropped for a third straight week last week, the lat­est in­di­ca­tion the labour mar­ket re­cov­ery was gain­ing trac­tion.

Other data on Thurs­day showed a spike in the cost of gaso­line pushed up pro­ducer prices last month, but the lack of broad price pres­sures gives the Fed­eral Re­serve scope to main­tain its very ac­com­moda­tive mon­e­tary pol­icy stance even as the job mar­ket strength­ens.

Ini­tial claims for state un­em­ploy­ment ben­e­fits dropped 10,000 to a sea­son­ally ad­justed 332,000, the Labour De­part­ment said. Econ­o­mists polled by Reuters had ex­pected first-time ap­pli­ca­tions for job­less aid to rise to 350,000.

The four-week mov­ing av­er­age for new claims, a bet­ter mea­sure of labour mar­ket trends, fell 2,750 to 346,750, the low­est level in five years - sug­gest­ing a firm­ing in un­der­ly­ing la­bor mar­ket con­di­tions.

The report fol­lows news last week that non-farm pay­rolls in­creased 236,000 in Fe­bru­ary, with the un­em­ploy­ment rate fall­ing to a four-year low of 7.7 per cent.

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